Art Hack Weekend: San Francisco -- A HTML5 + WebGL Hackathon

<p>The Bay Area&#8217;s best and brightest creative coders come together to hack art all weekend long.</p>

Mar 5 2012, 9:06pm

Friday night we kicked off Art Hack Weekend: San Francisco, a creative hackathon we hosted with Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA). As the unofficial preamble to our upcoming Creators Project: San Francisco event at Fort Mason later this month, we’ve brought together some of the Bay Area’s best creative coders with the shared mission of developing the next phase of cutting edge artistic web apps using HTML5 and WebGL.

Friday began with some inspiring presentations from Sha Hwang, Gabriel Dunne, Ryan Alexander, Jono Brandel and George Michael Brower—these leading creative coders are already exploring the capabilities of HTML5 and WebGL, and shared some of their projects and experiences with the audience. Afterwards, it was time for the participants to meet one another and start exchanging ideas, formulating teams and coming up with project concepts.

Saturday was the first full day of coding and participants arrived bright and early at 10am, eager to get started. Their nascent ideas from the night before began to take shape, and teams and roles were finalized over breakfast. Development continued throughout the day until midnight, the level of intensity rising with every hour that passed. The focus and concentration on everyone’s faces made it clear that they meant business.

Sunday morning the teams arrived with a renewed determination, ready to wrap up their projects and prototypes for the afternoon’s presentations. They toiled away until 3pm, putting the final touches on their projects and racing against the clock to get all the various components in place and functioning properly. At 4pm, they presented the fruits of their labor before a jury panel consisting of Ciel Hunter, Creative Director of The Creators Project; Ben Cerveny, President of Bloom and GAFFTA Board Member; Rudolf Frieling, Curator of Media Arts for SFMOMA; and Maria Popova, editor of Brain Pickings.

The jury reviewed projects based on their level of novelty and innovation, ease of use and quality of design, strength of creative concept and ideas, ease of use/fun factor, and how advanced the prototype was. They selected several projects to receive development stipends and the opportunity to exhibit their works in progress at our Creators Project: San Francisco event at Fort Mason March 17-18.

Check out the winners below:

Audio Shader Toy, Winner

Description: Audio Shader Toy combines a WebGL shader editor with audio spectrum data. Drag an MP3 into your browser window and write some code! Currently only compatible with Chrome.
Team: Syed Reza Ali, Gabriel Dunne, and Ryan Alexander
Check out the team’s github.

soundQuake, Winner

Description: The project is a visual and acoustic representation of Bay Area earthquake data from 1973 to present day. Technologically, the team used 3D graphics and the web audio API to visualize geo-located data points and earthquake magnitudes from a fusion table comprising approximately 900 earthquakes that have happened in the Bay Area over the last 30 years.
Team: Danny Bowman, Kyle Warren, Lisa Hiatt, Chris Delbuck, and Barry Threw
Check out the team’s github.

Partyline, Honorable Mention

Description: Partyline materializes the most private of our communication methods—our phone lines—into a sound collage. It consists of two parts – a Voyeur, which dials participants at random and records their input, as well as a Sequencer, which is an interactive view into voices, both of humans and machines, going on at the same time.
Team: Casey Rodarmor, Brandon Liu, Elle Sakamoto, and Angelo Hizon

Check out the rest of the projects on

To see the weekend's conversation on Twitter, search for the #arthackSF hashtag!

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